Dina, a psychologist specialising in supporting parents’ and children’s mental health, and the Founder of Calm Little Minds, tells us why!
Before establishing Calm Little Minds in the UAE, Dina worked as a research psychologist in various higher education institutions and as a resilience tutor at the University of Cambridge. She is also the author of the book ‘Are you parenting the adult of the future? A practical guide of 7 life skills to prepare your teenager and child’.
” Throughout my life, I have lived in different countries and worked with many parents from different cultural backgrounds. All through my professional experience, I have realised that parents need more hands-on support for their own and their children’s mental well-being. We all love our kids more than anything and want to support them with their mental health but don’t necessarily know where to start. This belief was reinforced when my daughter was bullied and realised early on how overwhelming it was for me, let alone for other parents who don’t have a background and training in psychology, says Dina.
How Calm Little Minds started
Calm Little Minds are innovative mental health boxes, which include various information and activities for families focused on different mental well-being topics. Some of these boxes include topics like growth mindset, stress, gratitude, understanding emotions, and more. Additionally, through their social media accounts, they share many free resources on children’s and families’ mental health.
“The idea to design mental-wellbeing boxes including activities for children and parents began when my eldest daughter was been bullied and socially excluded because of her ethnicity. In four years, we saw our child change from a happy, outgoing girl to a reserved, shy, lacking self-confidence and self-compassion child. It was heart-breaking to see and experience. This journey was particularly difficult for me as well, feeling inadequate to support her even if I had years of experience and knowledge. I pledged never to let any other parent feel the way we felt so I designed these boxes to help families develop social and emotional skills that will help them navigate life with ease, she adds.
The importance of mental health was highlighted
during the Covid pandemic. In recent years, ‘mental health’ and ‘mental
illness’ have been used as if they mean the same thing, but they are not.
Everyone has physical health, and everyone has mental health- but not everyone
has a mental illness. World Health Organisation very nicely stated: ‘There is
no health without mental health.” During our lifetime, not all people will
experience a mental illness, but everyone will struggle or have a challenge
with their mental well-being just like we all have challenges with our physical
well-being every now and then.
Our mental-welling includes our emotions, our
thoughts and feelings, our social connections, our ability to solve problems
and overcome difficulties, and our understanding of the world around us.
A mental illness is an illness that affects the way
people think, feel, behave, or interact with others. There are many different
mental illnesses, and they have different symptoms that impact peoples’ lives
in different ways.
Just as someone who feels unwell may not have a
serious illness, people may have poor mental health without a mental illness.
We all have days when we feel a bit down, worried, or overwhelmed by something
that’s happening in our lives. An important part of good mental health is the
ability to look at problems or matters sensibly. Good mental health isn’t about
feeling happy and confident all the time and disregarding any problems. It’s
about living and dealing with difficulties well despite problems.
A family’s function
falls heavily on mental health. The family environment can play a crucial role in creating positive
mental health for each family member, especially children. Relationships within
our family help give us a sense of worth and value. As we engage with our
family, we learn how to understand each other. These interactions with our
families create emotional intelligence and deeper connections with them, and
with others outside the home.
The experiences we have with our family
inform our other experiences, opinions, and mental health. We learn how to be
open to the differences between people and how to navigate those differences so
that we can connect with them. These experiences teach us how to be confident
enough to express how we feel and what we think and to understand how other
people feel and think.
Calm Little Minds’ mission is to make
mental well-being accessible for everyone and educate as many parents as
possible and children on its importance. The effects of our mental health are experienced in every aspect
of our lives. Our physical health, moods, and social connections help us cope
better with hardship and unexpected difficulties. Together, they contribute to
our sense of well-being and our mental health.
By taking a proactive stance of enhancing, sustaining, and nurturing our mental health, we can ensure that we live healthy, productive, and meaningful lives and equip our children with the skills they need to live their life with resiliency.
Visit: https://calmlittleminds.co/ to know more.